A Roof Over Our Heads

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Joe Mauthe

Joe Mauthe works on repairs at the Housing Partnership's recent veteran's home.

Contributors: Joe Mauthe, Executive Director at the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities and Chris Lashock, Client Services Coordinator at Homeless Connections

We recently had the chance to ask Joe Mauthe, Executive Director of the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities and Chris Lashock, Client Services Coordinator at Homeless Connections to provide some insight and personal perspective about homelessness in the Fox Cities…

Joe: I've been with the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities for about 1½ years. Prior to joining the Housing Partnership, all of my work experience was in for-profit, corporate roles.

Two things surprised me as I started my job here at the Housing Partnership. First, I did not realize how much of a homelessness issue actually exists in our community. Fortunately, most of these individuals are sheltered, in supportive programs, and making progress toward self-sufficiency. Second, I was (pleasantly) surprised with the strong collaboration among the local agencies that serve the homeless and impoverished in our community. The Fox Cities Housing Coalition includes almost 30 local agencies that work very well together to ensure that we are addressing issues of housing and poverty in the Fox Cities. (Read the full interview with Joe Mauthe.)

Chris: Homeless Connections and Housing Partnership are both active members of the Fox Cities Housing Coalition and work collaboratively time and time again. The case managers at Homeless Connections often refer clients to the transitional or permanent supportive housing programs of the Housing Partnership.

Over the past few years, the Point in Time numbers have plateaued (at about 350 homeless people in the Fox Cities). Unfortunately, the main reason for the number plateauing is simply because most every agency and program is at or above capacity. However, it is encouraging that we do not typically have a large street count. That being said, it is important for us to continue to explore ways to quickly get people into permanent housing. Homelessness is situational, it doesn't define a person. Regardless of mistakes that people have made, everyone deserves a home. (Read the full interview with Chris Lashock.)

Want to learn more? United Way Fox Cities is hosting a "United Way Experience Tour" on Tuesday, February 10 from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. with Homeless Connections (formerly the Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley) and the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities. The tour will take place at the Housing Partnership, 605 E. Hancock Street in Appleton. RSVP to attend the tour.